Science 3 min read

Researchers Invent High-Tech Toilet Seat That Can Detect Heart Failure

As absurd as it may sound, this new toilet seat could significantly reduce the rates of heart failure in individuals with high risks of cardiovascular disease.

Image Credit: A. Sue Weisler/RIT

Image Credit: A. Sue Weisler/RIT

Heart disease is responsible for one in every four deaths in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 630,000 Americans die from this disease every year.

So, it’s not surprising that tech companies are investing heavily in the health problem. From the fashionable Apple Watch to the Wahoo Heart Rate Monitor, several gadgets now exist to catch heart failure early.

Well, now you can add a high-tech toilet seat to the list.

A Toilet Seat-Based Cardiovascular Monitoring

A team of researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology just invented what they’re describing as a “toilet seat-based cardiovascular monitoring system.”

As you may have guessed, the researchers designed the gadget to help clinicians monitor patients for risk of congestive heart failure. In other words, it collects your data, analyzes it and lets you know if your heart is about to give out.

In the paper published in the Journal JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, the researchers wrote:

“This system will be uniquely positioned to capture trend data in the home that has been previously unattainable.”

How does the toilet seat-based monitoring work, you wonder?

First, the researchers invented a device to measure heart rate, blood oxygenation levels, as well as blood pressure. Then they integrated their invention into a toilet seat. For the software aspect, they developed an algorithm to not only collect, but also analyze data. And if the patient’s condition declines, it notifies health professionals.

As far as accuracy is concerned, the high tech toilet seat is quite impressive. In a trial involving 18 participants over eight weeks, the researchers confirmed how accurate their invention is.

In the publication, they noted:

“Clinical grade accuracy was achieved for all of the seat measurements when compared to their respective gold standards.”

It’s All About Lowering Readmission Rate

According to Nicholas Conn, a researcher on the project, hospitals readmit 25 percent of patients with congestive heart failure within 30 days of discharge. And the number increases to 44 percent after 90 days of hospital discharge.

The primary goal of this high-tech product is to reduce the readmission rate.

Since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services penalizes hospitals for readmitting patients for heart failure, providing patients who have experienced heart failures with the toilet seat could be a good idea. Not only could it potentially save millions of lives, but it would also save the hospital a lot of money.

The team intends to present the device to the Food and Drug Administration for clearance.

Read More: Google AI Predicts Heart Disease and Stroke From Retinal Images

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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    John Usrey March 29 at 6:11 am GMT

    Is this device run on electricity or a battery operated toilet seat?

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